Timeline & Schedule

With the program offered on a part-time basis and classes delivered in the evening, the Master of Science in Strategic Advertising and Marketing is built to fit the needs of busy professionals.


Evening courses; one or two per semester.

Program Start

Fall semester (August) and Spring Semester (January)

Program Duration

Five semesters with the option to flex to your pace; courses offered mostly in spring and fall semesters with limited course selection during summer semester.

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Core Courses (15.0 Credits)

Gain an introduction to marketing management and strategy through a combination of readings, lectures, workshops, practice, and coaching from industry professionals in a highly progressive form of applied learning. Conduct market research, analyze research data, assess market opportunities, and generate effective conclusions. Building from your findings and company goals, set clear marketing objectives by integrating marketing strategy components; develop a branding, messaging, and promotional plan; set a marketing strategy budget; and establish metrics to monitor the performance of a marketing strategy—all within the context of a rapidly evolving interactive, digital landscape.

Learn the theoretical foundations of consumer insights—the perspective on the obvious, and not so obvious, needs and wants of consumers that drives behavior and decision-making. Drawing on anthropological, sociological, and psychological sciences, develop an understanding of the underlying theoretical foundations of consumer behavior while taking a look at the consumer decision-making process and how marketing strategists can use these insights to test new products, predict emergent consumer needs, identify convergence of wants and needs, and develop effective packaging and communications campaigns.

Hear an overview of the process for developing and evaluating an advertising strategy and gain a better understanding of theoretical principals, supporting research, and evaluation in advertising practice. In particular, you’ll examine concepts and techniques that are useful for identifying consumer insights and social trends affecting communication strategy in the developmental phase. Learn to measure the effectiveness of the strategies in the evaluation stage and reviews best practices in both qualitative and quantitative research techniques including attention to ethical considerations that are fundamental to consumer research.

Gain an executive viewpoint of integrated marketing concepts, including market analysis, segmentation, targeting, positioning, and the 4Ps (product, price, promotion, and place). You’ll learn to apply both strategic and tactical elements of these marketing concepts, integrate these into financial models, and make decisions in realistic environments to maximize long-term firm value. Use skills and experiences in analyzing a business’ situation, as well as formulate, implement, and monitor marketing strategy in a competitive environment. By the end of this course, you’ll be able to select segments to compete; develop meaningful points of differentiation and positioning statements; think critically about product design; set prices in a variety of situations; deal with distribution and channel issues; and understand promotion strategies. In this course, there is a heavy emphasis on the link between marketing decisions and financial outcomes, as well as on communicating results of analysis to upper management.

Complete the program with an immersive 3-credit capstone course, where you’ll work with a real-world client to solve one of its strategic marketing and advertising challenges. With supervision and mentorship from a faculty member, you’ll construct field research, analyze the market opportunity for your organization, and apply your learning to develop a strategic marketing communications plan—gaining hands-on experience that can help you accelerate your career in the field. Success in this course requires playing an active role through a field research project that facilitates knowledge, skill, and competency in developing a company’s communication strategy and plan for implementation.

Concentration Courses (15.0 Credits)

Learn the art and science of crafting a paid presence for large budget brands competing in today’s complex media environment. In this course, you’ll explore the conceptual foundations of media planning with an eye toward effectively engaging a target audience, which today has more control over media consumption than any prior generation. Find out how shifts from mass media to personalized content affect the opportunity to place branded messages, as well as how socially active audiences can magnify a message for better or worse through their own personal networks. In-class discussions will touch on the future of paid media placement, audience tolerances for ad-supported content, and the economic implications of a shift from ad-supported to “free” content.

Develop an understanding of the strategic use of communication to facilitate change through theoretical frameworks and their applications. In this course, you’ll discuss topics including behavior and attitude change in the contexts of health, social, and consumer behaviors, as well as media advocacy (PR) and social marketing. Focus on moral and ethical issues in the marketplace as they relate to the fundamentals of persuasion theories, in addition to the moral and legal implications of advertising language, disclosure, and transparency in a socially connected world. By the end of the course, you will propose a strategic plan that utilizes persuasive theory to change the health, social, or consumer behavior of a hard-to-reach audience.

“Visual branding” isn’t just a buzz phrase; it’s a crucial part of every company’s marketing strategy. Brand identity fuels recognition, increases differentiation, and symbolizes core values. Identity expresses itself in visual systems that shape audience perception. In this course, you’ll examine how the disciplined process of branding can build awareness and extend loyalty in an audience.

Gain an introduction to user experience, including: the latest UX design thinking trends; the importance of user research and seeking continuous customer feedback; prototyping; and various iterative design frameworks across multiple concurrent screen experiences to ensure a successful digital experience. Explore topics such as competitive analysis and identification of marketplace opportunities, value innovation, user research, development of user personas and scenarios, information architecture, system and user interface design, rapid prototyping, customer discovery, and designing for conversion using metrics. During this course, you’ll develop and present a single comprehensive project for your portfolio that includes usability research and design mockup. By the conclusion of the course, you should be equipped with strategic methods to launch a product or service quickly and effectively online.

Organizations are collecting an unprecedented volume of data, and analysts are producing information from data using analytics and models. None of the information that is extracted from the data is usable unless it can be effectively communicated. In this course, you will begin with the fundamental questions of communication: Who is the audience? What is the information? What is the goal? Using these questions as the focus of the course, you’ll explore the techniques that will allow you to select appropriate information and to craft a narrative that clearly and effectively communicates this information using visual elements. Examples and cases will be used from a variety of industries.

Sample Course Progression

Five-Semester Plan

Fall Year 1Spring Year 1Fall Year 2Spring Year 2Fall Year 3
Marketing ManagementConsumer & Buyer BehaviorMarketing StrategyUser Experience Design & StrategyCapstone in Marketing
Advertising Research & StrategyPersuasion & the MarketplaceVisual Communication & BrandingMedia Planning & AnalyticsVisualization, The Art of Numbers